Torah class in Beit El
Torah class in Beit ElPR Rav Kahana

The participation in the learning during the night of Hoshana Rabbah (great salvation) that took place last night is an amazing phenomenon that will be researched. The basis for staying up all night and saying "tikun", a special service for the night vigil, is kabbalistic and for many years was only practiced by a few. The idea is that the last day of Sukkot is the "sealing of judgment", the day on which our great efforts for repentance ends; efforts that actually began on Rosh Chodesh Elul - and towards the end we give a "last push".

It is no coincidence that the learning is precisely at night, it is always darkest before the dawn; "and [on the day of redemption] at evening time, there will be light" (Zechariah 14, 7).

In recent years, there has been a tremendous growth in gatherings all over Israel of Torah study, attended by hundreds of thousands. In contrast to Tikun Leil Shavuot, on the night of Shavuot, where there are limitations in transportation and use of technology, Tikun Leil Hoshana Rabbah can be attended in any platform - making it the most attended night of study of the year. There are those who skip from class to class all night long (I like to point out that on Hoshana Rabbah night, rabbis feel like singers on the night of Independence Day, except that the salaries are different...)

Walking the streets of Jerusalem last night, it seemed like the night had turned into day, as the streets were filled with people hurrying to the classes of their choice.

The explosion of students on the night of Hoshana Rabbah is not accidental. It is part of the increasing general trend of searching for meaning and tradition. Those who ignore background media noise hear it more and more every year. Recent events only intensify this (and thanks to the anarchists, if you didn't exist, you would have to be invented). I hope each and every one of you knew to take a break from the petty news, from the daily hassles - to attend the classes, engage in improvement and self-study on this night and we will see great salvation; "and [on the day of redemption] at evening time, there will be light".

Shabbat Shalom umevorach and Chag Sameach! Have a wonderful Shabbat and a happy holiday!